2020 Steven Hale looks back – and forward

Here we talk to Steven Hale about hearing health, Covid, and looking forward to the joy of socialising again.

Steven, how has your year been so far?

“This year has undoubtedly had its challenges, its changes and its triumphs, all of which I have been determined to react positively to.”

When lockdown happened in March, how did you respond?

“The funny thing about the whole Covid issue and lock down is that in some ways it has given us a tremendous opportunity to press the ‘reset’ button. Whilst this pandemic is certainly something we would never wish for, it has meant that we all have to embrace change – not just small changes, but enormous ones in every facet of our lives – professionally, personally, socially and emotionally. At the very start of the outbreak, Covid touched my life and very close family immediately, which really  brought home to me the need to be totally compliant and clinical – almost to the point of obsessing over mine, my family and my customer safety.”

How have your customers reacted to your new operating systems?

“I took the time in lockdown 1 to really apply the government guidelines, as well as those agreed by my fellow professionals in the world of Audiology, and recreate the customer journey in a way that would assure everyone that their safety is of paramount importance.  I also made a promise that, wherever I could, I would respond to any other needs of my visitors.  This has resulted in some great feedback, such as …first Class professional service. Hearing back to normal. Highly recommended…” (AB) and “…he was very thorough in safety of both himself and myself…the experience was professional…everything was clearly explained to me, I would definitely recommend his practice.” (TG).”  (Read more Google reviews here.)

Remind me, what are the tell-tale signs of hearing loss or interference?

“The simple answer is a question – is something stopping you from hearing as well as you could?  Perhaps sounds and conversations have become a little fuzzy, or you are asking loved ones to repeat themselves – or you are sneaking up the volume on the TV set!  Whatever changes you are making, we can help to un-make them.  Whether it’s ringing or buzzing in one or both ears, a build up of wax, or some actual hearing loss, all it takes is a phone call and a 45-minute assessment – in our Covid compliant clinic.”

Why should I bother getting my hearing checked now – I can’t socialise with anyone?!

“As I said at the start, now is an opportunity to make positive change.  No-one wants to admit to having hearing loss, but the root of your loss might be simply wax, which is easy and painless to remove.  We can treat any other form of hearing health issues with a variety of aids and therapies.  However, to answer your question, I believe there has never been a better time to invest in yourself – and your loved ones.  You know “the look” that flashes across friends and family faces when you ask them to repeat themselves, or the frustration you feel because you can’t fully join into conversations. These are small but significant life changing issues that can build and build, until you feel totally excluded – I can help to change them back – and let’s not forget the article I wrote about the link between hearing loss and Alzheimers.” (Read more here)

What have you learnt this year?

“2020 has taught me to have the courage to analyse my practices, invite change, and continue to invest in my customers.  For instance, during lockdown 1 I made myself available by phone to just talk to callers, and try to see how I could help them – I really enjoyed this connection, and invite you to keep contacting me.  Simply being able to talk to someone can alleviate some stress and worry and provide reassurance. This is the very essence of my service, and it was good to have it clarified this year.”

What message would you like to send out to your clients and the community?

“We are all looking forward to being released from lockdown – in time for Christmas – quite right too!  We may well be in bubbles or have to speak to loved ones using electronic mediums, or even over the phone.  However you are going to celebrate, you should do so confident in the knowledge that you have the best hearing you possibly can, because you came to me, and, together we invested in your future.”

In summary

“Audiology is my profession.  People are my passion.  Listen to what others have said about my services, and then come and experience them for yourself.  You will not be disappointed. Thank you for reading this article, and for your confidence in me.  Have the very best Christmas you can with your loved ones.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

Steven Hale.  Audiology Director.

If you have any questions to put directly to Steven, just call 0n 0121 308 2550 or email him